Mayor Walsh announces "Chief Chats," new feature in City Hall to Go
May 28, 2014
Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a new feature in the City of Boston’s City Hall To Go truck: “Chief Chats,” a time designated for City officials to answer questions and address concerns of Boston residents.
“City Hall To Go is one of many programs that the City of Boston has created that encourages participatory democracy,” said Mayor Walsh. “With the truck in the community, residents will be able to engage directly with members of my Administration, and to reach necessary city services in a convenient and local access point.”
Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy, & Open Space, will be the first to participate in “Chief Chats,” on June 13th at the Bowdoin Street Health Center in Dorchester. Felix Arroyo, Chief of Health and Human Services, will appear the following week on June 21st in Hyde/Jackson Square in Jamaica Plain.
The repurposed 1985 bomb squad vehicle has also gained some national and international attention, inspiring nearly 20 other cities to follow suit and further explore the City Hall To Go program. Four cities in the United States currently have a mobile city hall program proposed in their budgets for Fiscal Year 2015, and Vancouver and Calgary, Canada have already created similar programs.
“We’ve been in communication with representatives from cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, Vancouver, Toronto, and many others, discussing the success and best practices of City Hall To Go,” said Danielle Valle Fitzgerald, Director of the City Hall To Goprogram. “These cities are also hoping to increase interactions between their residents and local government, and we’ve engaged in great dialogue around improving and refining the way we provide city services.”
Since City Hall To Go has been on the road, the program has participated in neighborhood events, developed a weekly schedule, and provided constituents with an easier way to conduct city business. The program has expanded to offering 47 different city services, which involve every department within the City of Boston, including joint efforts with the Department of Animal Care & Control, Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Emergency Management. The program will continue to grow, evolve, and serve as an effective way to maximize outreach to Boston’s residents.
For more information about City Hall To Go, visit www.cityofboston.gov/cityhalltogo.